NANO TECHNOLOGICAL OPTIMIZATION AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING NEW DIMENSIONS FOR POTTERY INDUSTRY ORGANISED BY CENTRE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, COIMBATORE.


It is a fact that the traditional pottery product has less appreciable quality to attract the present day people. Hence, there is limited market for the traditional pottery products. Due to this fact, the return obtained from this industry is less and the potters are leaving the traditional industry and employing in other occupations. The machineries and equipments used in the industry and the techniques adopted for processing, fabrication and firing are traditional and old. To some extent, other industrial products made of plastics, metals, glass etc. have captured pottery market. But people like the pottery wares if such type of products is made available according to their requirement and taste.
Now-a-days potters are facing many problems in undertaking the production activity. In older days, the traditional potters lived in clusters away from densely populated areas. But, now a day due to expansion of residential areas this clusters are surrounded by other people engaged in different activities. These people strongly object the smoke coming from the kiln at the time of firing. On the other hand, the drudgery of production operation of pottery activity is much higher and return is much lower when compared with other trades. Hence there is lack of undertaking about this industry by younger generations.

In the traditional method the processing of clay to be utilized for products fabrication is done manually and there is no grinding of clays being used for fabrication of different types of products. No mechanical devices have been utilized for clay grinding and processing to prepare a clay body.

The traditional potters are using different types of kilns to bake their green pottery products. All these kilns are open fired without any formation of kilns. The fuel efficiency of these kiln are very low. At the time of firing the damage in the kiln due to various reasons are very high and hence there is no economy in kiln firing. There are some fuel-efficient kilns designed by development agencies and are used in some places.

The equipments used for fabrication of pots are tradition old and lot of drudgery has been exercised in the industry for clay preparation, formation of articles and firing. The products range also limited and these products are not meeting the requirement of the consumers.

   Context:

Research in developing the traditional village pottery has been undertaken by Government agencies and NGO sectors. However, these researches have limited sense and there is need for undertaking further researches in this direction. Some of the research conducted by reputed institutions has not been diffused to the real user-village pottery artisans. By this seminar it is expected to decide the future direction of research in pottery, particularly to elevate the socio economic and techno economic conditions of the village potter, who has not yet been brought into the mainstream. Efforts were made to develop products and technologies in pottery by undertaking numerous research programs. But the potters are unable to adopt and capitalize the latest advancement in pottery. Lack of organization among the potters is another main cause for their inability to adopt better technology. It is observed that most of the products developed through research and development are not accepted in market due to some drawbacks. These drawbacks must be carefully analyzed following a revise research work with modifications & necessary changes. In the view of above facts, it is clear that there are possibilities of further extension in the research programs.
The overall objective is revival of achievements from numerous researches and development conducted so far in pottery, identifying its shortcomings and determining the necessity of R&D and interventions in village pottery industry.

   Participants:  Scientists, Industrial experts, college university professors, Entrepreneurs, Researchers, Industry union leaders etc.
  Conclusion :

It is expected to have a brainstorming and solution-finding workshop, which will help the traditional potters to come out with effective technological modifications and to bring the industry to the mainstream. The active participation of the technologists and experienced persons in the field could contribute much in this venture and find out new ways and means to enrich the pottery industry so that the industry can serve the people as a whole.

The aim is to discuss and finalize the pottery development with regards to nano-technological optimization and adaptation by undertaking R&D intervention. In this direction work has already begun and a related brainstorming work has been already convened and was attended by some of the experts in pottery nano technology development. The following are some of the findings of the workshop. The outcome of the workshop can be summarized in the following few points.

1 A tool kit need to be designed and possessed with essential accessories to determine basic physical characters of clay which can be used for quality terracotta pottery production activities.
2 Essential equipments which need to be de-scaled and to be used in the processing technology and also to standardize them.
3 Introduction of essential machines which are not readily available in the market to be used in the fabrication of different types of products by adapting different fabrication techniques.
4 Product optimization to be used in LPG Gas stoves, induction stoves, microwave oven need to be designed and fabrication methods optimized.
5 To find out such materials which can be added with common red clay to obtain less wall thickness and maximum strength in order to save energy consumption.
6 Optimization of environment safe and energy saving kiln for backing terracotta products for different uses like cooking, serving, storing and multipurpose aesthetic and decorative purposes.
7 To optimize the products manufacturing which could increase the health standard of the human being by using herbals.

The above deliberations were made by the scientists from National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Trivandrum, RuTAG, IIT, Chennai, Kumara Guru College of Technology, Coimbatore, Manonmanium Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli etc.

As a followup to the above deliberations, the present workshop on the theme ‘Nano technological Optimization and adaptation in developing New dimensions for Pottery Industry’ was organized on 25thAugust 2012 at ICSA Centre, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai. Around 40 participants took part in the deliberations. Malkolak Knowledge Centre was represented by Dr.J.Arunkumar from Technology Transfer Officer, Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Taramani, Chennai and group of other scientists working in the field of Nano Sciences. The workshop was coordintaed by Dr.Dr. P. Bagavatheeswaran, Director, CENTRE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, Kulala Street, Thirunainarkurichy, Ammandivilai P.O., Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu.

Various aspects were discussed and future strategy for taking of this venture has been charted out.

1 Everyone felt the future need of introducing fine terracotta in the market to meet the present day requirements of the customers and work for fine terracotta development.
2 There need to be a centre which may be named as “Centre for Excellence” of fine terracotta to cater the need for research and application in the red clay pottery activities.
3 To prepare a panel of Scientists who are working in different research institutions in this country and interested to work towards the nano technology development of the red clay pottery.
4 Product optimization to be used in LPG Gas stoves, induction stoves, microwave oven need to be designed and fabrication methods optimized.
5 To prepare appropriate proposals on innovative technology to safe guard the declining red clay pottery industry and submit the same for financial assistance.
6 A Working / Technical committee need to be formulated to meet the Local Government, higher officials and request them for help for the development of the pottery industry in a sustainable manner.

There was an inputs session during the fore noon hours and a group discussion during afternoon hours. The total workshop was participatory and most of the essential points were discussed in course of the sessions.

As an outcome of the meeting, a National Consulting Group under the Malkolak Knowledge Centre, Hyderabad was proposed to be incorporated by involving a lead Scientist who can work for the Nano-Technological developments in red clay pottery industry.

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